By Emily Aparicio; A. Montgomery; Perri Hamilton
|Title:||Alexander M. Troup Collection, 1870-2019|
|Arrangement:||The Alexander M. Troup collection is composed of personal papers and 23 series. The collection’s series list includes Mr. Troup’s personal papers (correspondence, research files, as well as art archives and artworks); the Troup family papers; the Troup gallery papers and artwork; and a grouping of series which focus on a specific area, community, or construction site. These site-specific series include the American Airlines/Dallas Arena Recovery 1965-2000series; the Artic Research series; the Austin/Market/Jackson St. series; the Deep Elm (Honest Joe’s)/ Fairmont St. series; the Fair Park series; the French Brick Study series; the Folk Art series; the Hollywood, Film, Fashion, and the Image series; the Howard Hughes series; the JFK Archives; the Laws St. series; the Material Culture series ( for items without a specific location or community); and the Material Culture of Ethnic Communities in Dallas Co series(which includes the following communities: African Americans; the Hispanic Community; the Jewish Community and other ethnic Communities); the Newspaper Collection (includes Occupy clippings and General Clipping collection); the Oak Cliff/Cedar Creek series ;the Red Light district series; the San Jacinto-Camp Street Series; the St. George Hotel series; and the Separated Materials series.|
Scope and Contents of the Materials
Opening up any box is an adventure. There are boxes within boxes. And within a few of these boxes within boxes, there are boxes filled with artifacts – shards of doll’s faces, flatware from the 1800s, old bottles of cure all, old pipes, many different colors of shards of glass, and shards of pottery. All these tidbits of history housed in one box within a box.
Alexander M. Troup grew up in Dallas and witnessed firsthand the transformation the city underwent to become what it is today – an ever-changing metro-plex. But one thing about Dallas and its insatiable appetite for growth is that many times valuable pieces of history become cannibalized in the process. This is where Mr. Troup saw a need for the city’s history which was being torn down and buried for the next luxury high-rise apartment building or the next strip mall. Mr. Troup is a preservationist. His process begins by identifying a demolition site or an area. He sets up sites and begins to excavate and preserve items by meticulously packing them in boxes. He documents the site and documents the artifacts he has collected after intensive research. His collection contains an abundant amount of artifacts, but also boxes and boxes of resources on material culture, archaeology, and Dallas History.
Not only a historian, and material culture preservationist, but Mr. Troup is an artist whose works echo his assemblages of artifacts. The Troup Family is steeped in the art history of Dallas. The family owned a gallery, Gallery Trohafole, which showcased items made by Dallas Artists and many pieces of folk art. The folk art is mainly whirly gigs – whose characters and themes are wholly Texan. One whirly gig is an oil well complete with a tall steel derrick. Another is made of egg beaters. Other pieces of the Folk Art include pottery from Dallas potters, rare penny dolls, a Hispanic wooden box, a bronze cast of an animal’s skull, and African American sculptures.
With all of this inspiration at his fingertips, it’s no wonder Mr. Troup became an artist. His work includes a piece with wall paper found on a dig site combined with found china, an assemblage of found magazine clippings and wood honoring railroad baron Jay Gould, a canvas to which a found door was attached which can be opened to reveal a women (this piece is inspired by a recluse who lived in her attic), as well as a handmade newspaper clipping box filled with clippings and old fashion magazine excerpts. There are also boxes within boxes that are filled with items that were once memories – small bottles, trinkets, charms, found marbles or stones. The collection, itself, is a piece created with intent. It is an art installation, but also a historic collection designed for Dallas History and the socio-cultural climate to be preserved and remembered. The collection has over twenty series which detail the material culture history of African Americans, Hispanics as well as history of many different neighborhoods in Dallas such as Deep Elm, Laws St., Camp St, and San Jacinto.
The collection’s multitudes of items are items that were once memories – small bottles, trinkets, charms, found marbles or stones as well as shards of glass and ceramics. Each item resonates with these memories, a history of people and places that are long gone, that are now covered by concrete.
Physical Access Note:
Reading Room or Duplication Requests
Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.
|Acquisition Source:||Alexander M. Troup|
|Preferred Citation:||Alexander M. Troup Collection, University of North Texas Special Collections|